Most churches are built in communities. Though they are part of those communities, local families don’t always feel the impact of their neighborhood churches. Many families, even in the most affluent areas surrounding your church are hurting. The statistics are disturbing:

50% of all children are in troubled, broken or single parent families
48% of children today live in families without a father present
68% of youth live in non-traditional families

For the good of kids and even our society, the local church needs to find a way to meet the needs of families. Over one hundred years ago, Sunday School was the way churches got children to learn about Jesus and the Bible. Today, with the pressure of sports and other organizations, Sunday Schools are considered by many families to be passé. Pioneer Clubs has been successful because our programs have the flexibility to be used as a mid-week program, children’s church, Sunday evening clubs or more. In the 75 years Pioneer Clubs has been around we have found and perfected numerous tools to entice people to make their local church an important part of their family’s life. Here are 13 ways your congregation can reach into the community and bring kids to church.

1. Advertise your Pioneer Clubs to community parents. Distribute flyers or door hangers through the church neighborhood. This works especially well for Vacation Bible School and mid-week program like Pioneer Clubs. We have door hangers you can purchase at our website: www.pioneerclubs.org/resources. Make or buy an outdoor banner. Mount it in front of the church where drivers can see it. A Pioneer Clubs banner is available at our website. Hang posters in businesses or schools for special events, VBS, concerts, prayer meetings, holidays, neighborhood parties and other functions. Send club and special event information to local newspapers and magazines plus TV and radio stations that do free public service announcements.

2. Look carefully at your church’s website. Make sure that it is up-to-date, accurate and has an invitation to neighbors to stop by. Then post club/Sunday School information and pictures, on your church’s website.

3. Canvas the neighborhood asking all the residents if they have a home church. If not, invite them to yours. If they are not interested for themselves, invite their kids to your Sunday School, mid-week programs, or special events just for kids!

4. Hold a VBS program in which the entire neighborhood is invited.

5. Sponsor a sports camp in which God is an integral part.

6. In your promotional materials, advertise your church (or Pioneer Clubs) as a resource for building good morals and spiritual values into children. Both Christian and non-Christian parents appreciate help in teaching children values and many parents want their children exposed to church even if they don’t attend.

7. Provide club members with invitations to hand out at school on club days. We have a book with -tons of ideas called: How to Run and Promote a Pioneer Clubs Program. (Check the school’s policy.)

8. Make a fuss over visitors (including children) when they come. Introduce them and have everyone cheer for them. Let visitors choose a small gift from a “prize bucket” containing knickknacks from the Pioneer Clubs catalog. Give them a name button. Send a “Glad You Came” postcard to follow up.

9. Arrange carpooling between unchurched parents and church families. This provides a service and helps parents get to know each other. Churches have the message, the people and the calling to serve their communities better than any other institution. Let’s work together to make it a success.

10. Get names, addresses, and phone numbers of kids who come to VBS, and send information about your church and Pioneer Clubs to their parents.

11. Sponsor a community event (fun fair, ice cream social, spaghetti dinner, etc.). Have an information table with church and Pioneer Clubs materials, club members’ projects and brochures. Have children’s ministry leaders staff the table to talk with interested parents.

12. Sponsor a church booth at other community events. Or enter your church, youth group, or Pioneer Clubs float in a local parade.

13. Hold a parent/child or family/child event (talent show, summer picnic, indoor winter beach party, etc.). Allow time for a question-and-answer session. Let your neighbors realize that you are not a cult, scary, too pushy, or condemning, but that your church is there to serve the community. Churches have the message, the people and the calling to serve their communities better than any other institution. Let’s work together to make it a success.

For more ideas on how your church can have a positive impact on your community visit our website www.pioneerclubs.org.